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Soil Testing Services – The Ultimate Guide to Testing Soil pH 

The right soil pH is necessary for optimal crop yield and plant growth. Soil testing services include testing soil pH, that helps in determining the kind of soil and what plants will be suitable for that specific area. Sometimes soil needs supplements like pH adjusters and fertilizers for the plants. Measuring the pH helps in figuring out what and how much you need.

Factors that Affect the Soil pH

Climate & Weather

Temperature, sunlight, precipitation, and seasonal weather changes can influence the soil pH. For instance, high precipitation will wash the essential nutrients out of the soil. Many nutrients, like calcium carbonates, are basic because when these nutrients leave the soil, the soil becomes more acidic.


Native plants and local ecology helps in determining the pH of the soil. The soil underneath the grasses is less acidic, while the soil formed under the trees are more acidic. This is because there are more decaying matter near the trees.

Irrigation Water

The water that is used to irrigate the crops will also influence the pH of the soil. If the water is more acidic or more basic than the soil, the pH of the soil will change.

Soil Type

Was the soil in your region derived from limestone, granite, or shale? These parent materials shall determine whether the soil is more basic or acidic. The areas with a lot of shale are much more acidic, while the areas with a lot of limestone are more basic.


Fertilizing soil is crucial to get the best crop yields because pH will affect how easily available nutrients are to the plants. It is crucial to check the soil pH before and after adding the fertilizers. Knowing the soil pH can help you to decide how much and what kind of fertilizer you need.

Nutrient Availability

– Plants cannot absorb nutrients when the soil pH is too low or too high. When soil pH is off, the nutrients like calcium and phosphorous will bind up with other things in the soil. Thus, plants won’t be able to take in what they need to grow.

Optimal Soil pH Ranges

Plants that thrive in more acidic soil include apple trees (pH 5 – pH 6.5), potatoes (pH 4.5 – pH 6), and orchids (pH 4.5 – pH 5.5). The alkaline-loving plants include acacia and walnut trees (they both like soil between pH 6 – pH 8). To figure out the best pH for soil, it is crucial to do a bit of research on the type of plants that you want to grow.

How to Test Soil pH?

According to the soil testing service providers, there are two primary ways to test the soil pH from field samples. These include direct soil testing services and slurry testing. It is crucial that the soil samples and tests take place in the same spots and the same way every time.

Slurry pH Testing

This method of soil testing allows you to get a sample and measure the complete area in just a single test. Since soil pH can vary within a small area, it is crucial to take a representative sample. The soil must be taken from the same depth below the surface every time you test. While choosing the slurry method, take the soil next to the plants as well as some from further away. This would mean a little bit of extra work, but you will get accurate measurements because the amount of nutrients, types of soil and moisture content can vary across a planted area. All these factors affect the pH of the soil. Therefore, it is crucial to track the soil pH at many points.

Direct Soil pH Testing

Direct soil pH testing offers you the benefit of not having to take soil samples because the soil pH testing is done right on the ground. Put a hole down into the soil using an auger or ruler. The hole has to be of the same length every time of testing because it will help to avoid discrepancies. Add a bit of distilled or deionized water in the hole; the soil must be damp but not saturated with water. Insert the testing instrument into the hole and allow the reading to stabilize.

Soil pH Testing Options

It is crucial to talk about what you can use to test the soil pH. There are four primary ways to test soil pH – test strips and digital pocket testers. Chemical test kits and portable meters.

pH Test Strips

pH test strips are paper strips that are saturated with pH-sensitive dyes. When exposed to a damp substance, the strops shall change color related to the substance’s pH. The color change corresponds to a specific color chart offered with the test strips. This method is quick, easy, and less expensive.

Soil pH Chemical Test Kits

According to the soil test service providers, the pH chemical test kits are like test strips. They are simple and easy to use, but they do have some drawbacks. A soil test kit includes adding soil, distilled water, and chemicals in a tube. The chemicals react with the pH levels in the same to create a color change. Also, just like the test strips, the color change of the test kits and the readings will vary.

Digital Soil pH Pocket Testers

Soil pH pocket testers are digital and portable testing instruments that use a pH electrode. Integrating a pH electrode in a durable casing of the tester ensures higher accuracy than the test kits or strips. The pH electrode will take the pH reading in the soil and display it on the LCD screen.

Portable Soil pH Meters

The portable soil pH meters are an advanced step from the soil pH testers. They are a better way to ensure accuracy laboratory accuracy in field testing. They are larger than digital testers and offer many functions, from data logging to multiparameter testing.

In Conclusion

Soil is complex, but soil testing services do not have to be. Testing the soil’s pH is crucial because it empowers better crop growth and higher yield. The options of testing pH are as diverse as the different types of soils. If you are searching for the best soil testing services, get in touch with SoilOptix® today! Visit for details.